Don’t Be A Square

A key component to any meeting, conference or event is a presentation. Whether it’s charts and graphs, bullet points or simply photographs, some sort of slides will likely be used to convey your message. Here are few tips that we’ve learned, that can help take your slides to the next level and give it a more professional look.

Goodbye 4:3 Hello 16:9

This is a big one! Ratio size makes a huge difference in the way your presentation appears on screen. But, what do these numbers mean? Well, remember those old tube TV’s we used to have? Those were a “square” ratio (4:3)…which is standard definition. Now, we have these beautiful rectangular TV’s that are high definition. Those are a 16:9 ratio. So, these numbers matter a great deal for your presentations when they are shown on-screen. Unfortunately for us, PowerPoint and Keynote sometimes still default to a 4:3 template. What this means is that you’ll have to change that option when creating a new presentation. The 16:9 option is usually called “widescreen” or “wide”.

Here’s how to make that change when creating your presentation:

In PowerPoint:

In Keynote:

Before creating a presentation for your event, make sure to ask if the screen you’ll be presenting on will be 4:3 or 16:9. This will allow your presentation to fill the space correctly!

While we’re on the subject, here are a couple of final tips that will help make you’re presentation look the best it possibly can:

Pro Tip #1 – Background Color.

White backgrounds tend to be harsh on-screen, especially if you are presenting on an LED wall. So, try creating your presentation with a dark background and white or light color text!

Pro Tip #2 – Bigger is Better.

Our last tip is a simple one. When creating slides, it is always a good idea to use a larger font. No matter how large the screen is, if you use a small font with a lot of text all on the same slide, it will be hard to read. So, consider breaking up the text into a couple of slides instead of trying to fit all your content on 1 slide. Here’s an example:

Instead of this:

Try this:

Hopefully these tips will be helpful the next time you create a presentation!